Kelly Jolivet: "The main ingredient for a good sauce? Time!"
Along with cooking techniques (poaching, boiling, simmering, sautéing, braising, roasting, grilling, frying, simmering, etc.), sauces are probably the foundation of French cuisine. In fact, they are a large part of two reference books: “L’art de la cuisine française au XIXe siècle” by Antonin Carême (1784-1833) and “Le guide culinaire” by Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935).
Kelly Jolivet knows her classics and above all knows how to put them to use in today’s bistro cuisine: “In a restaurant with an identity like Benoit’s, you have to master the technique of sauces. They are essential to the spirit of bistro cuisine. The first rule is obviously to use good basic products: nice pieces of meat and quality fat. Kelly adds, “But the main ingredient is time!” To make a sauce, it takes no less than twenty-four hours. Indeed, it is necessary to take the time to color the ingredients well and then especially it is necessary to make reduce. The operation must be carried out over a very low heat, for hours, with constant supervision, in order to extract all the flavors of the cooking juices. And finally, it is necessary to give these sauces a beautiful consistency. Here, Kelly deliberately moves away from the traditional method of binding the sauce with flour or another starch. To lighten the sauce, she prefers to strain carefully and reduce again and again. But obviously this approach requires extra time! The last step is to “refresh” the sauce at the minute, just before sending it out, so that the maître d’ can pour it, shiny and tasty, onto your plate. Happy tasting!